From Ember to Inferno 2 - Month 5 - Matthew Lyons

Shikami Devils - Month Four

It is with a slightly heavy heart that I write my final blog post for FETI2, hobbying with close friends and producing an army you are very proud of is one of the greatest feelings in this little hobby of ours.

With that said, my final month of painting presented difficulties from a few angles -  a mental block, and planning/implementation. I knew that I needed to paint my Mortex Crawler as the final model for the army, due to the size and unique details of the model - including the fact it had 5 crew to paint! However I also knew I needed to paint my 3rd Battleline unit, of which I could have actually 'cheated' with. This is because, along with my Month 4 painting commitments, I also painted another unit of 10 Mortex Guard so that I could use a legal army at the Tomorrow Burns Tournament I attended.

I ultimately decided against this, as I wanted to stay pure to the format of FETI and I knew that the second unit of Kavalos Deathriders would tumble down my painting priority list and disappoint me in the future that I didn't paint them; when I should have. Particularly as 2 units of Deathriders are key to my tournament lists as they allow me to run the Deathlance formation!

Not much more to say on the Deathriders as they are almost identical to my last unit, except I opted to not put a tree on one of the bases:

Then it came time to tackle the monstrous construct that is the Mortek Crawler, some sub assemblies here were key to keeping my sanity and breaking down the painting into manageable chunks. I really did take my time with this model by doing small sessions of painting on a regular basis. All the crew were painted individually after I added my home 3D printed conical hats, along with the wheel, raven, and counter weight. These all followed my usual scheme and it was a lot of fun assembling the Mortek in the wheel! I then tackled the frame of the crawler itself, with such large areas of bone I decided on thinning my layers more than I had previously and introduced extra stages to ensure the transitions didn't look out of place. Once the bone was complete it was business as normal, the red armour & gold elements are the most enjoyable to paint. Once assembled I was very pleased with the finished model:

You may notice that there are a few extra basing elements here, due to the size of the Crawlers base I added a stone ornament and some wildlife crawling around on the grass. This is a small teaser at some extra elements I shall be adding to all my basing going forward ... along with some finishing touches as an extra surprise when I can finally attend tournaments again!

Here was my planned final list for the Firestorm campaign:

Legion: Mortis Praetorians

Katakros, General - 500

Vokmortian, Mortal Contract - 180

Mortisan Soulmason, Empower Nadrite Weapons - 140

10 Mortex Guard, Nadrite Baldes - 130

5 Kavalos Deathriders, Nadrite Blades - 180

5 Kavalos Deathriders, Nadrite Blades - 180

3 Necropolis Stalkers (The Storms), Spirit Blades - 200

Gothizzar Harvester - 200

Mortek Crawler - 200

Horrorghast - 60

Total = 1970

Nothing 'broken' in the list and I'm sure Chris could have kept his rage against Mortek Guard in check with only 10 on the table! I am also happy to have almost completed a Matt Clarke™️ / Highlander style army (no duplicate units) but I was limited to 3 battleline options.

If you haven't read Chris's write up yet - please do as he does a great job summarising the armies. So much so that I would like to cover his as I feel it is an outstanding army. Chris mentions it is not the best technically painted, but it is very cleverly painted, the use of colour and clean stark highlights with a perfect eye for the colours to use sells the overall army look perfectly. The use of Chrome was incredibly brave but has paid off massively and has added a fantastic extra point of interest. Something that may be overlooked is the basing, Chris's bases are a fantastic example of what you should be looking for with your own, they frame the models beautifully while introducing extra colour elements to an otherwise cold palette. He has also built up the bases themselves to create interest and height where needed. I really do hope we see this army on the tabletop at numerous events.

Now we come to the end of our 'Tale of 4 Gamers' inspired hobby spectacular, and that means it is time for the final army pictures:

I am incredibly happy with the army and to have completed another FETI, I have been struggling with army pictures as they don't quite do them justice (in my eyes) - cameras just seem to struggle with photographing the army - possibly Nagash's influence!

The army has really taken on an identity that has kept me very interested in them, and I cannot wait to develop the story/background of the Shikami devils through more games. It has been very rewarding coming up with a simple premise and seeing how far it could take me. Plus, who knew Lego Minifig hats would paint up so well in an Age of Sigmar army!

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has followed along with FETI2, interacted with us, provided feedback and encouragement; it really makes a difference.

Unfortunately, we overall didn't finish on as much of a high as last time, and FETI3 is very much a question mark. A key learning point has been that before starting with a 'tale of ..' style endeavor you need to ensure that that the goals of all the hobbyists align. I have realised that the army needs to be for the tale, not for a tournament, or secondary to other elements like a display board. So the lesson is, don't force it unless all participants are in the same hobby mind-frame.

Well, that is enough from me, thanks for reading and who knows what the future holds!

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